Sunday 25 August 2019

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HC orders Govt to recover over Rs 3 Cr from EDMs, probe drug deaths

 

The high court has directed Goa government to recover dues of over Rs three crore from the organisers of Sunburn and Supersonic while increasing the police force to control drug trade at India’s biggest five-day EDMs happening in Goa during Christmas.

The public interest litigation filed by Trajano D’Mello, vice president of the Nationalist Congress Party, was disposed of by Bombay high court at Goa today, almost after one year.

The EDMs will happen in Goa for the seventh consecutive year now, from 27 to 30 December, for five days – Sunburn at Vagator and Supersonic at Candolim, with around 10,000 music lovers attending it every day.

Goa government’s apathy towards recovering the dues of the last four years was exposed completely when the division bench of Justices Filomeno Manuel Reis and C V Bhadang directed the state authorities to recover the dues within a month.

It includes around Rs 2.30 crore towards 600 traffic policemen deployed for traffic arrangements as well as practically every tax the EDM organisers need to pay – the VAT, commercial tax and entertainment tax to the tune of over Rs one crore.

D’Mello’s counsel Adv Rohit Bras de Sa had alleged in the court about the nexus between the EDM organisers and the state government, pointing out that one of the juniors of the Advocate General was appearing in this case for the Sunburn.

Adv de Sa also informed goanews.com that the court has directed the police to probe deaths of two girls – Isha Mantri and Neha Bahuguna of drug overdose at the EDMs and file a report before the court within six months.

Neha Bahuguna, a 23-year old girl from Delhi working at Bengaluru, had died of drugs overdose in the first year of Sunburn festival in 2009.

Isha Mantri, Mumbai-based 27-year old costume designer of Bollywood, had died of drug overdose at Supersonic festival last year.

While the state government tried to convince the court that drug trade is controlled well by the Anti-Narcotic Cell of Goa police, the judges refused to accept the argument and ordered to deploy more police force at both the venues.

The division bench also warned that the police officials would be held responsible in case of any lapse.

As per the court order, the police will now have to cordon the venue in the radius of 500 metres with more police force, increase the number of sniffer dogs and display sign boards of toll-free numbers for help.

In case of terror threats, the court accepted the submission of the government that the security agencies are fully prepared to face the danger. 





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Wonder why the EDM organisers should pay twice The monies must have long ago lined the necessary pockets

It's like the Electricity Bill scam You don't recover when the amount is small but wait for years till its a few crores and then settle for a few lakh and pocket a few crores with the consumer also saving a crore or two

 
DINESH MATHA , Margao

Economy

 

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